Face shield, face shield, goggles, isolation gown and gloves. This is just the beginning of the barrier between medical workers and patients diagnosed with COVID-19. And while these materials are imperative for ensuring the safety of everyone involved, it can be quite frightening for patients to never really see the people who are treating them.
That’s why a respiratory therapist created a special badge to spread solace and joy.
Robertino Rodriguez works at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California. He puts on his personal protective equipment, known as PPE, like any other healthcare professional – except on the outside of his isolation gown is a special laminated badge.
“I felt bad for my ER patients when I came into the room with my face covered in PPE. A reassuring smile makes a big difference to a scared patient,” Rodriguez wrote in an Instagram post.
His giant badge shows his first name and job title in big, bold letters. And below, a smiling photo of the respiratory therapist.
“So my patients can see a reassuring and comforting smile,” he continued.
Rodriguez posted a photo of the outfit on his Instagram page, amassing over 10,000 likes in just two days. Over 1000 users also commented, writing thanks, wishes and many heart emojis.
Since the start of the epidemic, there have been more than 1,400 cases of COVID-19 in San Diego County. About 18% of people who test positive for the novel coronavirus require hospitalization, according to data released by the county in early April.